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Archive for March, 2010

Puppy Heeling

There should be a few rules to teaching a puppy to heel.

1. Keep it short
2. Keep it fun
3. Dont worry too much about details or drilling

Here is a video of Blaze heeling – I do a few short spurts of forward motion, try to turn my hand out to reward him, and do some backwards walking. This will encourage him to learn to use his rear end which is especially helpful for turns.

Kong Wobbler Review

Well it came! My new Kong Wobbler. After all the excitement, I can finally share my thoughts about how it really is.

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros: dishwasher safe, not too loud, pretty easy to fill, reasonably priced

Cons: I think its a little big for smaller dogs, toy dogs could NEVER use this. There is no difficulty setting – its equally difficult or easy for all dogs. My puppy doesn’t get it at all :) My dog could unscrew it. I found it difficult to screw the top on.

Watch the video to see all my thoughts on the kong wobbler. I finally got my puppy to learn how to use this by toss a treat on the floor near the wobbler every time he nosed it. Eventually he moved it enough to get food to fall out own his own and he is now a proficient kong wobbler user in just a few hours.

and the puppy finally gets it :)

Wild Puppy Days

It always happens. A puppy who has been calm, comes when called, never chews on the wrong things, suddenly goes wild. A wild puppy can be the symptom of several things. First, it could be that your puppy is normal. Second, your puppy may need some new mental stimulation. Or three, your puppy might be ready for some structured exercise. Perhaps all three as well.

Today was that day for us, baby Blaze was a wild boy. He has been bothering Nitro all day, barking randomly, trying to chew on the rug, continually going to the back door when he doesn’t need to potty. My first inclination would be to walk him a little further than we have gone before, but Blaze has a cold so probably spreading that around the neighborhood wouldn’t be wise.

So, what to do when the wild puppy can’t exercise? Break out the old Kong. The kong if you have never seen one is like a rubber shaped snowman with a hole in the top and the bottom. You can fill it with any number of things. My personal favorites are peanut butter (all natural is best), banana, or just a few big treats that are hard to get out. The best part about this is it keeps the puppy busy for 20 to 30 minutes. As they get better at it, you have to do more difficult kong recipies but this should help your wild puppy get tired. And after all, they do say that a tired puppy is a well behaved puppy.

Another idea is to rotate your dog toys. I try to keep only a few down at a time so that as my puppy becomes bored with them, I can get new ones out. With teething just around the corner, I need to stock up on some soft toys in addition to my chew proof toys and antlers. For tonight though, I will be freezing some banana in a kong to hopefully give my puppy some more fun tomorrow that will keep him from having another wild puppy day.

Puppy with Hacking Cough

My husband came home and called me and said – what did you do to the puppy? He apparently was acting like he was going to throw up but he wasn’t. He said it was off and on, not persistent. I got home and heard what sounded like something being stuck in his throat. It went on all through the night, off and on of course. As I paid attention to him, he seemed to have a few other symptoms, a hoarse throat, watery eyes and nose. It dawned on me, my puppy has kennel cough!

Now, I am a believer in vaccines for dogs and humans. The puppy had his first series of bordatella vaccine a few weeks prior so I think we are lucky that this is a mild case. I can tell today he is feeling better, drinking a bit more. Every once in a while you hear that barky hoarse cough.

I did call my vet and we are going in soon to get a check up. Now he could have picked this up anywhere – a neighbors dog who had been groomed and maybe wasn’t vaccinated, puppy class, anywhere dogs go really. Either way I wont be taking him to puppy class this week so we wont infect anyone else. He’ll just get some TLC for the next few days at home.

101 Ideas for Puppy Socialization

Well, after having a new puppy in my life for a few weeks, I thought I would post my 101 ideas for socialization. Feel free to add yours!  The point of all of these are to introduce your dog in a positive way to anything they may encounter in their lives.

  1. A large dog
  2. A small dog
  3. A fluffy dog (ever seen a dog freak out at a newfie?)
  4. Kids
  5. Babies
  6. Bikes
  7. Skateboards
  8. Boxes
  9. Agility Tunnels
  10. Wire crates
  11. Airline crates
  12. Lawn Mower
  13. Leaf Blower
  14. School buses
  15. Garbage trucks
  16. Kids in helmets
  17. People in large coats
  18. People with disabilities
  19. Wheelchairs
  20. Sliding opening doors
  21. Mirrors
  22. Men with beards
  23. People wearing baseball hats and glasses
  24. Fireworks (carefully people!)
  25. Gunfire – especially if you want to hunt your dog, again, CAREFULLY!
  26. Gravel
  27. Grass
  28. Pet Stores
  29. Dog Parks
  30. Swings
  31. Slides
  32. Stairs
  33. Deck material
  34. Water (safely)
  35. Bath tubs
  36. Balloons
  37. Bubble Wrap
  38. Eat out of Plastic bowls
  39. Eat out of ceramic bowls
  40. The vets office
  41. The vet
  42. Training facility
  43. Sand
  44. The beach
  45. Different types of brushes
  46. A friends house
  47. Elevators
  48. Joggers
  49. Cats
  50. Farm animals
  51. Party hats
  52. Harnesses
  53. Different types of leashes
  54. Gentle leader ( I think every dog should learn to wear one – its good for handling their faces)
  55. Nail clippers
  56. Dremel
  57. Dog day care – every puppy should go once or twice
  58. Being held by a stranger
  59. Having a friend hold their lead while you walk away
  60. Shopping carts
  61. Little shopping carts (that kids can push)
  62. Hair dryer
  63. Remote control cars
  64. Baby toys
  65. Toys that make noise
  66. Different shapes of toys
  67. Kongs
  68. Rope toys
  69. Tags on their collar
  70. Socks on their feet
  71. Bandanna around their neck
  72. Visit to the groomer
  73. Touching their teeth
  74. Rubbing their gums
  75. Brushing their teeth
  76. Walk by a barking dog (always reward your puppy for being quiet!)
  77. Wobble board
  78. Weave poles
  79. Go under a table
  80. Go under a chair
  81. Eat from a buster cube
  82. Eat from a tug a jug
  83. Pop some balloons
  84. Have their ears cleaned with baby wipes or tissues (carefully)
  85. Kids in costumes
  86. Doorbell ringing (ignore the puppy early on so they dont get doorbell barky for attention!)
  87. A pizza person
  88. A mail person
  89. A UPS person
  90. Vacuum cleaner
  91. A large broom
  92. Short jumps
  93. Go under a bar of some kind
  94. Kids running and screaming
  95. Kids playing a sport
  96. Honking cars
  97. Car alarms
  98. Standing on tables (like at the vets office)
  99. Elderly People
  100. Someone with a “different” voice
  101. Girls wearing long flowy dresses